"A nationwide survey of 3,000 adults suggests that though 40 per cent of parents allow their young children to share the marital bed, at least every other night they aren’t too happy about it."This is of course followed by the obligatory professor of sleep, warning never to start co-sleeping! (despite the fact it is shown to increase breastfeeding rates and improve quality of sleep, leaving mothers feeling better rested) If it's too late, use star charts to bribe the child into their own room (and those are his words).
I'm a bit unsure where the three month thing comes from, the SIDS guidance is baby should be near you until six months when risks reduce?
It was just this sort of thinking that left me adamantly refusing to co-sleep with my first - she barely slept and I was a walking zombie; despite following every "rule", resisting all "sleep props", following the "napping laws" eg dark room, set times etc - none of it worked and nor did she develop "healthy habits".
I've had a Google but can't turn up this survey (if you find it do let me know) as I wonder who were the 3000 mums surveyed? Did these mums choose to co-sleep, or did they end up doing so because their child was such a bad sleeper it was a last resort? How were the infants fed? Were the group educated about normal expectations? Was this group compared to a survey of non co-sleepers to see if they reported higher rates of relationship satisfaction and indeed more sex? Several studies suggest relationship satisfaction levels for men drop in the first twelve months postpartum - heck babies are blinking tiring, all consuming beings for a while, regardless of where they sleep!
The mums who have shared as a last resort may feel dissatisfaction because modern parenting books often tell them the norm is their child should be sole sleeping for twelve hours at six months (based on no evidence whatsoever). They may feel resentful their child isn't conforming or blame themselves - had they only not given in the child would now be sleeping as expected, the old "rod for your own back".
Why can't families find something that works for them and meets the needs of everyone?
Families are now more insular then ever before and instead of lots of help from cousins/aunts and siblings, most parenting falls squarely on the shoulder of the parents. In addition people often relocate away from family and then throw working into this mix - life can be a chore of childcare runs, work and washing/cooking/cleaning!
Dad or partner may not be home until 7/8 pm, if the commute is long sometimes even later - putting a lot of pressure on some mums, and indeed the family unit. But why always the assumption someone's needs have to go unmet? What works varies family to family and some even have a mix! Co-sleeping together some nights, with dad hitting the spare bed when he needs and ditto mum doing the same - there are no rules...If co-sleeping maximises sleep for everyone and stops (usually) mum having to traipse around the house to other rooms at all hours - leaving her better rested to cope with everything else, is this really likely to be a marriage breaker?
Some parents have their toddlers awake until they go to bed, then all head off to the family bed together; others put the child into a bed or a cot until they wake during the night, and then bring them into the family bed - why has everything got to be all or nothing? Parents who feel forced into having children around all evening because they expect them to be asleep, or because they are tired out and need a break - are likely to feel entirely different come bedtime than those who have chosen to co-sleep and have other strategies in place for me/couple time.
Don't forget clinginess!
Something also apparently, inevitably caused by co-sleeping. Firstly did I say how much I dislike this word? Why must we always use negative terms to describe childhood behaviour society considers less desirable?
Is it really so weird that a child needs its mother? If some have a more intense need, why is that automatically deemed to be a problem? What about the reasons why a child may have a stronger need or heck what if it's just the personality of the child?
The Daily Mail article is perhaps quite telling:
Perhaps more surprisingly, the practice didn’t seem to make children happier: most parents felt it made them clingy.
Sally and her husband Jim (who initially seemed happy with the idea) invested in a kingsize bed all three of them could all share. But Sally admits the effect on her marriage were anything but positive.
‘He (her son) was so cuddly,’ says Sally.' I was working so hard during the day that I felt I didn’t see enough of him'.
Let's also not forget that whilst the lives of adults have changed, so have the lives of children. Gone are the days of hanging on mother's apron strings until school or short spells at playgroup began; instead childcare away from the family often begins young as a requirement for work, for some that's almost full time office hours or longer.
Hmm... well I co-slept with all of them... including twins and... let's put it this way... I have five children!The result was predictable: Jim and Sally divorced after he found himself a new woman. And Sally is now finding it hard to persuade eight-year-old Tom that he might prefer to sleep by himself".
I always wonder do these people not have sofas? or, a la postman always rings twice, kitchen tables? ;-D
Do these people not have any imagination? DH and I have not slept in the same bed for the last 13 years. He got kicked out after baby no 4, because he snores and no one got any sleep. We have managed another five babies since then, so def hasn't caused us any issues ;-)
Being too tired to do the deed with a small person to take care of is a FAR bigger reason for less frequent nooky than co-sleeping could ever be. If you both WANT to get amorous, you will find a location to do it. If one of you doesn't, you will find an excuse - and 'the bed is occupied' is an excuse - not a reason!You can read the full replies here - hardly the picture we so often hear about.
Many parents find the transition to sole sleeper an easy one - infants often want their own space as it starts to get more cramped, and choose to head off to their own room if they feel there isn't an immense pressure to do so. The older the child is, the less intense the mummy need becomes and the shift is very often easier than with a tiny baby. Some parents are happy for the child to leave the bed when they choose, others give a gentle helping hand:
Read more here:My son co-slept until he was around 3 1/2. At 2 he helped us decorate his bedroom, picked the covers, curtains and nightlight as we felt him having input would result in somewhere he felt happy. At first he showed little interest once the decorating novelty had worn off, but we noticed as he's got older he has started going and playing in "his" bedroom for longer periods of time and choosing to nap there. Then he progressed to going to sleep there and coming in with us when he woke, until finally declaring he was going to sleep all night in his bed at around 31/2 which he did. He will happily tell us he's tired and wants to go to bed and seems to have a really healthy relationship with sleep. (summarised from an email received)Our son was 2.5 years old when he started sleeping in his own bed. My daughter was 9 weeks old at the time and we were sleeping well together, but we went for a sleepover at my Sisters and he slept on a blowup bed in his cousins room. I decided I would try him in his bed the following night, just to see how we'd get on. He thought it was brilliant because he was being a 'big boy' like his cousin. We haven't looked back since. He still sometimes wakes in the early hours around 5am and comes and joins us for an extra hour or two, but that's fine by me :)When my boy was eighteen months we moved house and I was seven months pregnant so we introduced him to his toddler bed. We pushed it really as he probably would have liked to stay with us a bit longer but he did get quickly used to going to sleep in his bed and being put back there if he woke during the night
The fact that co-sleeping results in clingy children and broken marriages is nothing more than a myth. Sure some co-sleeping families will divorce, just as cot sharing families do - but it's about a whole lot more than a family bed.